Monday, December 3, 2012

Big Brother and Progress Update

One of the best parts of our trip was taking our oldest son, Malachi. It was an awesome expereince to return to his birth country with him, as a settled established family. We visited Tikuret (the orphanage he previously lived at), ate tons of Ethiopian food, stayed with friends, and of course spent most of our time with baby Abel.

It's hard to tell how many memories Malachi has of his life in Ethiopia. He seemed to remember Sister Asayech (the director of Tikuret) and different things about Tikuret, like where his bed was. We could tell the nannies and workers at Tikuret were incredibly blessed to see Malachi "Teshale" again. They squealed with delight when they saw him, scooped him up in their arms, and smothered him with kisses. Many of them were tearful and very emotionally overwhelmed to see him again. It was so beautiful to see how loved our son was and is. Our children have a huge family, extending the whole way to Ethiopia:). Sister Asayech told us when we were there, "Every child is like my own and I never forget even one. They're here in my heart." She also thanked us over and over again for adopting. She said as much as she loves the children, she can never give them what we can, a family. We were able to give her a photo album with pictures of our children. She held it to her heart and said, "I'll cherish this always." I think the most meaningful moment was when she embraced Malachi and said, "I am so happy I get to see you again before I die. I love you." Tears all around after that!

Adoption stories here often start when a family receives their referral. But, oh how much more there is to the story before that. God is working mightily through Ethiopians caring for orphans in their own country. We just saw a glimpse of that and were so deeply reminded of how many people God used to bring our children into our family. I'm often reminded of the pain and brokenness in adoption...but, then God gives us these moments to behold the beauty and restoration of it all and it so clearly speaks to us of HIM and HIS heart! Adoption is such a beautiful image of the gospel. I'm so grateful for my children. They daily bring me back to God's heart.

If any of you have children from Tikuret, Sister Asayech said she'd LOVE updates. I have her new email if you want it. Also, she's hoping to come to the states in January to share her heart for orphan care in Ethiopia. I know she's looking for families who have adopted through Tikuret to host her and arrange an event. Just throwing it out there as I know some who read our blog also know and love Sister Asayech!

*UPDATE ON ABEL* Our son is now at embassy medical, the last step before embassy submission. There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding his physical. Please pray that the medical testing would be done quickly, results would be conclusive, and that we could be submitted to embassy as soon as possible, hopefully this Wed or next (our agency only submits files on Weds). And pray for continued grace and peace for our family. The waiting for Abel has been difficult and becomes more painful...but, God's grace is ever increasing and meets us in our weakness! There's also quite a few families with our agency at this last step. We're praying for a whole bunch of files to be submitted soon!!!
Malachi and Sister Asayech. She even came and picked us up and took us to Tikuret for the afternoon!
This woman is filled with such selfless love for the children in her care. They flock to her, calling out "mamma mamma!"
Here we are with some of the nannies and nurses at Tikuret.
Malachi and Abel...brothers:).

Malachi LOVED the food while we were there!
Daddy and his boys.
Malachi was a pro at feeding Abel his bottles. And Abel's a pro at eating;).
Each night we would walk Abel back to his crib to say goodnight. Next time we won't have to do that!